The Cynical Optimist : Rescue Clone Wars Season 3!


I’m currently watching “Hunt For Ziro,” the ninth episode of season three of ”Star Wars: The Clone Wars”. Directed by Steward Lee and written by Steve Mitchell & Craig Van Sickle, this episode apparently takes place after season one’s finale, “Hostage Crisis.”

Cad Bane has broken Ziro the Hutt out of prison and the Hutt Council demands that Ziro tell them where he’s hidden vital — and incriminating — information. Ziro makes another daring escape with the help of Sy Snootles, and Bane is back on the Hutt’s trail — but he’s not the only one. The Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi and Quinlan Vos need to find him too. Now it’s a race to get to Ziro before it’s too late.

Sy Snootles. She’s the lead singer of the Max Rebo Band, featured prominently in Return of the Jedi. I’m at a loss as to why she is in this episode. Actually, I’m at a loss for season three completely. When fans said they wanted more ties to the original trilogy, I don’t think they meant Greedo and Sy Snootles speaking in Basic (that is, Star Wars terminology for the English language).

The first two seasons of ”Star Wars: The Clone Wars” were simply wonderful – truly some of the greatest Star Wars stories since ”The Empire Strikes Back”, but this season has been a painful reminder of the Prequel Trilogy and its flaws.

Sy Snootles plays the love interest of Ziro the Hutt in this episode. If you’re unfamiliar with Ziro, think Truman Capote in Hutt form. He’s been a minor annoyance since his debut in the Clone Wars theatrical release and he’s killed in this episode by none other than his double-crossing, big lipped lover, Sy Snootles.

There are two huge problems with this season of ”Clone Wars” – and if these problems persist, it will begin to define the series and, as a result, leave yet another tainted stain on the legacy of Star Wars. Here are the two huge issues as I see them:

1) Continuity

How on Earth can anyone keep up with this show? I mean, here we are into the ninth episode of season three and this story takes place in-between season one’s finale and season two’s premiere. The jaded Star Wars fan inside me wants to believe this is just a ploy for money. I’ll gladly purchase every season on Blu Ray and then when the show ends, I’ll be forced to buy the ultimate box set edition with all 100+ episodes in chronological order — if they even KNOW the order at that point.

Going forward, they need to focus on one character (Ahsoka Tano, obviously) and keep the story and the characters’ development moving forward while providing a road map to the show’s conclusion and the beginning of Episode III.

2) Character Decisions

You’ve got some great established characters in the Clone Wars universe: Count Dooku, Asajj Ventress, General Grievous and other great supporting characters like Commander Cody, Captain Rex and Cad Bane – and yet instead of focusing on these characters, there’s this mentality of introducing a handful of new characters every episode that continue to take away form Obi-Wan, Anakin, Ahsoka and the focal figures of the Clone Wars.

I’ll be honest with you, I don’t give a damn what Greedo is doing during the Clone Wars – nor do I need to see the Jedi of the week (this week’s being Quinlan Vos, comic book fanboy favorite). Nor do I need episodes with Jar Jar Binks or stories about exotic cakes and droid massage parlors.

The worst part is, an upcoming story-arc involves Darth Maul’s brother, Savage Opress. I’m not making that up – his name is actually Savage Opress, and apparently he’s strong in the Force like his brother – basically he’s the Mountain Dew version of Maul, meaning he’s EXTREME! I haven’t even seen a second of these episodes and I’m already bored and frustrated by his presence.

Look, Darth Maul was a great villain. Obi-Wan Kenobi killed him as a Padawan, which led to his knighthood. Darth Maul was the first step in the legendary Jedi career of Obi-Wan Kenobi… and now you’re going to introduce a character who is supposedly more fearsome than Maul, and no telling what you’re going to do with him – but no matter what happens, you’re making Maul seem less impressive and thus Obi-Wan’s victory less important.

I suppose I’ve been lucky as a Star Wars fan to get two amazing seasons of an animated show – but this season is obviously a failure and hopefully Filoni and his amazing crew learn from this season and find a way to really end the show on a high note going forward.

Season three has been subtitled, “Secrets Revealed,” and yet I haven’t found a single secret worth knowing – in fact I wish most of them would have remained secrets. I could use this space to speculate on what secrets will be answered, but instead I think I’ll make snarky comments.

Maybe we’ll get an episode where Sy Snootles puts the band together and we’ll see a downtrodden Max Rebo walking down a deserted street in the rain when suddenly he comes across a used instrument store and he buys his first crazy synth-keyboard and learns how to play sweet Tatooine jazz tunes.

Fingers crossed, guys.

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